Cheryl and I got to the site around 9:00 after the hike in, looking for the coyote. No coyote but the hike along the creek was beautiful.
Usually, just about time we step into the meadow, we hear peregrine wailing. This time nothing but it didn’t take long. Very soon, a nest exchange with the male in and the female in a hole below the food storage crevice, wailing.
Nothing for a hour and a half, and then she flies by north to south, circling, rising, headed SW and disappeared over the ridge. A half hour later, she returns, circles and sits above the ‘refrigerator’, preening. We heard e-chups and she leaves and lands on the top of the south rock outcropping.
At 11:20 two redtails start to fly past the outcropping and she cak-cak-caks and they disappear, not daring to come closer to the nest. We can see she has an empty crop.
At 11:30 she flies, circling upwards and flies high, heading east behind the nest rock.
At 1:20 there is a quick nest exchange with some wailing. And a half hour later the male returns from the north and circle-climbs to the south. The resident cooper’s hawk flies in front of the nest cave. They seem to tolerate the Coop.
At 2 he again flies by to the north, passing over the nest ledge. At 2:05 he returns from the area east of the nest ledge and heads south with lots of wailing. He sits on south rock. He has a full crop. He does some ‘bird yoga’ and a double wing stretch.
At 2:35 he flies, circles south rock 3 times, flies north, passes the nest rock without calling and continues on north. We leave at 3:20. It’s clear that incubation is still proceeding well. Their nest exchanges are fast and efficient.
During the afternoon we also saw a turkey vulture circling with a second TV. The first one was carrying greenery in its talons. Nest building material? A gift? A short time later, the two stopped on a rock to do some mating.
On our way out, we see an adult redtail with prey, sitting in a tree. It flies to the ground in a cow pasture, with the prey in its talons. After a short time, it returns and circles over our heads, lands briefly in a tree, then heads off again. It looks like it’s carrying a partially eaten ground squirrel (based on the long tail of the prey). I get a couple of photos but the light is harsh and she insists on flying off into the sun.